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Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Matt Thompson Explains Why Old Media Newsrooms are Bad Places for New Media Journalists of the Future to Be

Snarkmarket's Matt Thompson has spent some time in traditional newsrooms and he understands the New Media so well that he's become part of it. Want to see the skeleton of a traditional news story? Here's his succinct description:

"... a cutesy lead, restated with a quote, nut graf, strained moment of prose, awkward snap back to the institutional voice, here's what fill-in-expert has to say, so-and-so refused to comment, here's a good quote for a kicker."

Try it the next time you pick up your local newspaper. You will probably be surprised by how many stories you find that more or less fit that mold. A "nut graf," by the way, is typically the third graph in a 12-15 column inch news story, which contains the basic facts underlying the article and explaining why it's important for you to know.

So why would Thompson be adverse to the idea of newsrooms and journalists? Because he understands journalists have got to get out of their newsrooms and reconnect with their communities. And because the newsroom of the online world is distributed, decentralized and networked.

Read it all here on Morph, the Media Center blog associated with the American Press Institute.